Over the last several days, there has been an abundance of hype surrounding what NBA finale game will occupy our time. Will it be the Golden State Warriors push for the best record of all-time, surpassing MJ’s 72-10 team in 1996 or will it be Kobe Bryant’s last game as a Laker and all-time NBA great?
The question seems rather simplistic for the average fan who has no ties to the Lakers, the state of California or Kobe as a person. In the case of the average fan, why would they give up the chance to see a team make history for a guy who has already made history and is now only saying his goodbyes for the 82nd time this season? The Lakers will host Utah who will be fighting for the last playoff spot available and a chance to play at least four games against the defending champs. It should also be noted that the Jazz will be rooting for a Sacramento victory over Houston for their playoff hopes to come true.
The 72-9 Warriors will be hosting a hungry Memphis team who has weathered the injury storm of the century, using a record 28 players this season as they’ve miraculously clawed and scratched their way to clinch the seventh seed in the west.
Golden State’s chase for the greatest regular season record in history (ESPN) and the end of Kobe’s farewell parade (ESPN2) both ironically begin tonight at 8:30MST on the mother-ship’s network. The choice seems obvious to me, but maybe you have a different perspective or some unique emotional tie to the Black Mamba.
For Jazz fans, the season finale will have a unique irony feeling to it. The atmosphere will be somewhat nostalgic and reminiscent as Laker fans will be shedding their final tears on behalf of their living legend, but Utah and company will (or should) be coming on a mission. In all fairness, this game should be one-sided, but unfortunately for the Jazz faithful, games this season that should have been are exactly the reason why they are in this position in the first place.
I will leave you with three more obvious yet tactful things that you may have overlooked going into tonight:
- On the bright side, the development of television birthed arguably the most value button on a remote, called ‘return’, and that feature should be in full force tonight.
- When push comes to shove, Kobe’s farewell game is TiVo material simply because we have already seen 81 other games like it. Don’t let a final goodbye, that you could catch on SportsCenter, get in the way of you seeing a team make history, especially if Memphis comes to play and the game is decided in the final minutes.
- The chances of Golden State winning at home to get to 73 wins are about as high as Kobe having 22 shot attempts for 13 points.